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Grinchy Hackers Spoil Christmas for Xbox and PlayStation Gamers Everywhere


You're a mean one, Lizard Squad. You wrecked Christmas for millions of Xbox Live and PlayStation Network (PSN) gamers, all for more Twitter followers, favs and RTs. Not cool.

Barone Firenze |

Or perhaps you saved Christmas for millions of parents who, thanks to you, actually got a chance to talk to their children on Christmas Day.

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If you play Microsoft Xbox or Sony PlayStation, or have kids who do, you know exactly what we're talking about. Yesterday, right on time for the present-opening morning rush, a merry band of cyber villains calling themselves the Lizard Squad knocked both popular gaming services offline.

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As of this morning, Xbox Live is still experiencing issues, with users reporting spotty connections and some unable to log in at all. Meanwhile, the PlayStation Network is still completely offline.

The hackers' weapon of choice: a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks. The Grinches apparently sicced botnets on both services, which inundated them with a crippling number of bogus access requests. The result: Millions of disappointed gamers the world over, unable to fully enjoy their brand new games. An estimated 48 million people subscribe to Xbox Live and some 110 million to the PlayStation Network, many of them still feeling like they received coal.

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The Lizard Squad incessantly took credit for the outages on Twitter, where the notorious group continues to issue tweets demanding more followers and retweets, now in exchange for bringing the PlayStation Network back online. So far, no dice. For Sony, the blow comes all too soon, on the heels of the mass hacking of its Sony Pictures arm over the The Interview. The attacks appear to be unrelated.

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If you're over mushy holiday movies and in the mood to watch the controversial new film instead, you can stream it on Xbox Video...if you're lucky enough to successfully log in.

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